Singer Hayley Westenra 'supporting our boys'

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 13:54 21/10/2011
Hayley Westenra
FINAL-BOUND: Christchurch soprano Hayley Westenra, 24, is singing the New Zealand national anthem at Sunday night's Rugby World Cup final.

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Kiwi songbird Hayley Westenra is thrilled to be running on the pitch to do her part to support the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup final on Sunday.

Westenra said the opportunity to sing the national anthem was her way of "supporting our boys''.

"It's going to be incredible, being out on Eden Park at the Rugby World Cup final. I watched the match last Sunday and I was on the edge of my seat. I'm so relieved I didn't have to learn the Australian anthem,'' Westenra laughs.

"There may also be a surprise song on Sunday, too, but for me it's about the anthem and supporting my country.''

In recent months the 24-year-old soprano has been acknowledged as New Zealand's highest-selling artist but said she did not dwell on such accolades.

"For me, you're only as good as your last performance and I am more concerned with making sure my next performance is my best. But it is wonderful to have that support, it is part of the dream.''

After Sunday's performance, Westenra will head home to Christchurch to spend a week with her family and catch up with friends before heading to Thailand.

She will then return home to begin a nationwide tour, including a show at the CBS Canterbury Arena next month, to mark her 10th anniversary in the industry.

"After the Christchurch quake I had hoped to stage a concert in Auckland called Quakeaid, but after looking at it and seeing the response from fans I thought it was a better idea if I did a tour with proceeds from each concert going to the Christchurch Earthquake Relief fund.

"I am lucky in that although I have been in this business for over 10 years I am still young and doing what I love.''

British media reports earlier this year of her battle with eating disorders had been "sensationalised'' she said, and she was no different than "other girls'' when it comes to what she eats and how she eats it.

She also denied internet rumours of breast implants with a giggle.

"I was young when I started doing this and, well, I've grown up,'' she said.

Her unnamed British boyfriend was unable to join her for the tour as he was busy working she said, but she found their busy schedules helped keep their relationship "fresh''.

"We always have interesting things to talk about because our lives are so busy. You have to work at it of course. When it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

"Much like the All Blacks on Sunday night.''

- The Press

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